HOLLYWOOD—Well, the time has come to bid adieu to the saga that had women all over the world clamoring to see how the risqué novel series “Fifty Shades of Grey” would culminate upon reaching the big screen. The “Fifty Shades” saga was so huge that it led to a discussion about sex, bondage and bedroom antics that had never been discussed before in pop culture. The first flick was a box-office hit and not as bland as I expected, however, “Fifty Shades Darker” was a complete mess in my opinion, and “Fifty Shades Freed” attempts to take the narrative in a new direction, but it’s not as successful as one would expect.
This final chapter sees Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Fanning) tying the knot. Yes, Christian who seemed to be the ultimate playboy, with a wild dark side has settled down with Ana in wonderful wedding bliss, but their happily-ever after is short-lived as a direct result of Ana’s former boss Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson). The thriller element is a nice change for the narrative, but it is not as captivating as one would expect. The problem might be the believability factor. I mean if you watched any of the previous flicks nothing connects to WHY Jack is so obsessed with Ana, it just seems the writers tossed things together hoping to have a subplot in the narrative that would click.
With “Fifty Shades Freed” Jack’s obsession has become a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, where with each moment the audience doesn’t really know what Jack will do, and to what extent Christian will go to protect his wife. The couple does receive some life-changing news that makes them question where their relationship will be headed in the future. There are of course some steamy sex scenes of course, but at this point in the franchise, it’s not something that leaves the audience uncomfortable or in awe. To be honest, most of the kinky stuff was all displayed in its glory (if you want to call it) in the first flick.
There is no arguing the chemistry between Jamie Dornan and Dakota Fanning works, but for the life of me it seems that with each film that extra spark that is needed to take it to the next level seems to be missing. The one element that hurts this flick more than anything is the dialogue. It is so bad that as a viewer, you sit in that theater seat literally asking yourself the question, “Did they really say that?” You almost find yourself laughing more at what is being said, versus taking what is being said as serious. The dialogue really impacts the movie in such a way that it comes across mediocre and frustrating. I mean that entire conversation with Ana and architect Gia (Arielle Kebbel) may be one of the worst acting scenes I have seen in a very long-time. The delivery is totally off and it’s just seems forced. This might be a result of bad acting, but I would also argue it’s a result of a bad script.
However, “Fifty Shades Freed” does entertain for a degree and if you’re a fan of the series, and you will get your money’s worth. If you have never seen any of the films and you’re just being dragged to the movie for date night or a bit of romance, you’ll be greatly disappointed by this erotic thriller that doesn’t have much going for it, except for good looking people putting themselves in bad situations and the audience already knowing how things will pan out in the long run.